UCLA sophomore righthanded ace Adam Plutko (Glendore, Calif.) and TCU freshman second baseman Derek Odell (Clayton, Texas) delivered clutch performances during important weeks for their respective teams, earning them top honors among the CB360 Primetime Performers for the first week of May in 2012, as presented by CollegeBaseball360.com. They are joined by 15 others in comprising the week-12 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll (full list at bottom of page), with Odell and Plutko the top honorees as the respective CB360 Primetime Player of the Week and Primetime Pitcher of the Week. front-page photo courtesy of UCLA
(Headshots, action shots and player info. included below for all of the week-12 Primetime honorees)
The Primetime Performer awards program – also utilized on affiliate sites CollegeSports360.com, CollegeSoccer360.com and CollegeFencing360.com – seeks to recognize players based on more than simple raw stats, instead taking into account quality of opponent, contribution to team success and various situational factors (such as clutch play, all-around performance, leadership, adversity overcome, etc.).
PLUTKO turned in a dominating performance to open the much-anticipated home series vs. CB360 #8 Purdue, as the #9 Bruins took game-1 and went on to nearly sweep the series (UCLA won the second game 3-2 and had a 10-5 lead w/ 2 outs in the 9th inning of finale, before losing 15-11). The 6-3, 195-pound RHP carried a perfect game into the 6th inning and ultimately allowed only three baserunners, with the one run allowed while facing only three over the minimum (28) in 8.1 innings.
Despite facing a veteran lineup with a .316 team batting average, Plutko was touched for only a pair of hits (both singles) and yield no walks, with one hit-batter. He struck out five different Purdue batters (7 total Ks) while limiting the first seven batters in the lineup to a 1-for-24 combined line. Fellow Primetime Performer honoree David Miller (1-for-2, HBP), the Boilermakers 8-hole hitter, was the only Purdue player that reached twice vs. Plutko.
The big-game effort marked the second time this season that Plutko has pitched into the 9th inning. He carries a 3.38 season ERA and 6-3 record.
The emerging rookie ODELL hit 7-for-12 (.583) during a pivotal week, as TCU rallied to beat cb360 #45 Oklahoma (4-3) before winning series vs. Mountain West rival New Mexico (5-3, 5-6, 2-1) – leaving TCU and UNM tied atop the conference standings (they ended up splitting six MWC games this season). The week’s results also helped bolster TCU’s quest to be an NCAA Regional #2 seed (current #33 RPI, per WarrenNolan.com).
Odell came off the bench to provide a pair of clutch late-game hits vs. the Sooners, the first coming on a leadoff single in the 8th (he came around to score, cutting OU’s lead to 3-2). He returned to the plate with two outs and a tie game in the 9th, promptly ending the game on a single to left that scored Brance Rivera (halting TCU’s 8-game losing streak vs. Oklahoma). Odell played at shortstop in the 9th inning of that game and then was inserted into the starting lineup, at second base, for pivotal series vs. UNM.
His 5-for-10 weekend vs. the Lobos included 2-for-3 with an RBI (on sac-fly) in tight opener that was suspended on Friday and completed on Sat. Odell went on to collect a pair of hits and helped turn three double plays, in another closely-contested battle during gm-2. He then had one of TCU’s two total hits in the finale, as Frogs found a way to win the series-deciding third game. Odell played error-free during the week on 18 fielding chances, including nine in gm-2 alone and seven more in the pressure-packed final game.
The week-12 Primetime Performers include four other starting pitchers: Oklahoma State junior LHP Andrew Heaney (Oklahoma City, Okla.) … Presbyterian sophomore RHP Chandler Knox (Columbia, S.C.) … Kentucky sophomore LHP Corey Littrell (Louisville, Ky.) … and Bryant junior RHP Sal Lisanti (Bronx, N.Y.).
The 11 other position players include four first basemen – Texas Tech 5th-year senior Stephen Hagen (Lakebay, Wash.) … Utah Valley senior Goose Kallunki (Orem, Utah) … Missouri senior Andreas Plackis (St. Charles, Mo.) and South Carolina Upstate junior Trey Richardson (Lakeland, Fla.) – along with four middle infielders: Georgia junior shortstop Kyle Farmer (Atlanta, Ga.) … Purdue senior shortstop David Miller (St. Louis, Mo.) … Oregon sophomore second baseman Aaron Payne (San Clemente, Calif.) … and Cornell junior second baseman Brenton Peters (Leesburg, Va.). Three outfielders round out the honorees: Valparaiso 5th-year senior LF Will Hagel (Arlington Hts, Ill.) … LSU junior LF Raph Rhymes (Monroe, La.) … and Hawaii senior RF Zack Swasey (South Jordan, Utah).
The 17 honorees include a pair of fifth-year seniors, plus four seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and the freshman Odell. They include two players each from California, Missouri and Utah hometowns, plus one each from: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Primetime Performer Award Criteria (not based solely on raw stats, but rather …)
• Must have been playing for or against a CB360 top-50 team (in the Composite National Rankings or performed a high level in games that could be key to a team’s conference finish and conference/NCAA postseason qualification; made significant contribution to team’s success and potential postseason positioning (single-game wins, “quality” wins, series wins, road wins, etc.).
• Involved in clutch performances, such as late game-winning hits, noteworthy comebacks, game-changing plays, team leadership, key defensive efforts, etc.
• Performed at a top level against a team rated highly nationally (or within its conference), with bonus consideration given for key performances away from home field and vs.
• Overcame adversity or extreme circumstances (for the team and/or individual).
• Any accomplishment that is rare, historic, record-setting, etc., on a national level.
(April 30-May 6, 2012 … presented by CollegeBaseball360.com)
Stephen Hagen (Texas Tech … 5th-Yr.-Sr. … 1B … Lakebay, WA … 5/6-hole … bats: R … #12)
Sal Lisanti (Bryant … Jr. … RHP … Bronx, NY … #12)
David Miller (Purdue … Sr. … SS … St. Louis, MO … 8-hole … bats: L … #29)
* Derek Odell (TCU … Fr. … 2B … Canyon, TX … 7/6-hole … bats: L … #2)
Brenton Peters (Cornell … Jr. … 2B … Leesburg, VA … leadoff … bats: L … #5)
*Adam Plutko (UCLA … So. … RHP … Glendora, CA … #9)
Zack Swasey (Hawaii … Sr. … RF … South Jordan, UT … 7-hole … bats: R … #10)
Hit 7-for-15 (.448) during key SEC series vs. cb360 #48 Auburn, with #42 UGa going on to sweep (5-2, 6-5 in 11, 9-3) in battle between teams once again seeking to finish above .500 (and thus be NCAA-tournament eligible) … singled and scored in opener before huge effort in gm-2 (3-for-6, 2RBI-2B) that include the winning single in the 11th … added three more hits in the series finale (3-5, 4RBI), most notably a 3-run HR … helped turn pair of double players while making only one error in 14 chances during key late-season series … third on team with .304 season batting average (team-best 32 RBI, 4 HR, team-best 17 2B).
Reached base multiple times in each game of series at Horizon League favorite Wright State, as Crusaders won 2-of-3 (12-11, 2-3, 4-3) to move into a tie with the Raiders atop the league standings … doubled in each game of the series, while bating 6-for-11 (.546; 4RBI-3R-2BB) … drove home three runs in high-scoring series opener (2-5, 2R; also threw out a baserunner trying to stetch a single) … walked and provided an RBI in tight series finale … earlier in the week, helped Valpo win 7-4 at Notre Dame (1B-R-HBP).
Launched game-winning home runs vs. two different cb360 top-25 teams during the week (#24 New Mexico State and #14 Texas A&M, both on the road) … totaled three home runs during the week while batting 5-for-15 vs. collection of top pitching talent … homered twice for the first time in his career while factoring into seven of his team’s runs (6RBI-3R; BB) to lead 12-7 win at New Mexico State … closed series at Texas A&M with solo blast in top of the 12th, with Raiders adding three more runs en route to 8-4 win … had homerd only twice previously this season, in 31 games played (15 starts).
Logged his third shutout and fourth complete game of the season, in dominating performance that beat cb360 #45 Oklahoma to open the annual Bedlam rivalry series (gm-1 played in Tulsa) … Cowboys went on to win the series (4-8, 3-2, in his hometown of Oklahoma City) … faced only 30 batters (three over minn.) in the 3-hit shutout, with only one walk that was easily countered by seven strikeouts … pitched team to its ninth straight victory, the program’s longest winning streak since 2008 … allowed only two runners past first base (both in the 2nd innings) … retired the Sooners in order five times (1st & 6th-9th innings) and closed the game with 13 straight outs … has not allowed a run in 21 straight innings, the second-longest shutout streak of his career (24.1, earlier this season) … improved to 6-1 for the season, while lowering his ERA to 1.65 (2nd-best in the Big 12 and 15th nation-wide).
Hitting leader for Wolverines team that extended winning streak to 28 games (six shy of tying NCAA record) during 5-0 week, which included midweek win over BYU (14-11) in front of nearly 5,500 home fans, followed by 4-gm sweep of Houston Baptist (6-5, 7-5, 14-8, 8-6) … hit .526 (10-for-19) during busy week, with a whopping 1.903 OPS (.640 on-base plus 1.263 slugging) that included 24 total bases (3HR-3B-2 2B) and 18 times on-base (6BB) …directly involved in 16 of his team’s runs during the week (12 RBI-7R-3HR) … helped send the fans home happy in win over cross-town rival BYU (3-run HR, 2B, 4RBI, BB) … homered twice in opener at Houston Baptist, sparking series sweep … leads nation with 72 RBI while ranking in top-10 for batting avg. (.419), home runs (15), slugging (.747), hits (78) and total bases (139) … honored on the CB360 Primetime Performers earlier this season, after helping upset Arizona in early April (his teammate Jordy Hart was a mid-March Primetime Performer honoree, after helping post a similar upset win over Arizona State) … Utah Valley currently faces a unique challenge, as the Great West Conference does not have an automatic NCAA bid … the Wolverines, who currently own a #62 RPI but the #209 strength-of-schedule (per WarrenNolan.com), may need to win their remaining regular-season games and sweep through the Great West Tournament in order to be under consideration for an NCAA at-large spot.
Turned in team’s first complete game of the season, en route to 7-2 road win over potent offensive team Central Florida (cb360 #18) … posted career-high six strikeouts while holding back UCF team that is averaging nearly seven runs per game (8H-3BB) … set down the Knights in order during the 7th and 8th innings, later closing things out with a pair of Ks … allowed only one hit with runners on-base (in 13 ABs with runners aboard) … handed UCF costly loss in its quest to boost its NCAA resume during final weeks of season … lead Blue Hose in wins (4), strikeouts (44) and innings (76.1), while compiling a 3.18 season ERA.
Remained unbeaten (7-0) while maintaing his impressive season ERA (2.30), en route to outdueling fellow lefthander Brian Johnson in important 2-1 series finale vs. visiting Florida (cb360 #3) … that win for #5 Kentucky helped halt a recent slide while keeping the Wildcats in the mix for a top-8 national seed … took shutout into 9th inning, vs. potent Gators offense that leads the nation in home runs … ultimately allowed the lone run in 8-plus innings, scattering nine hits but walking none … 16 of his outs game via Ks (5) or groundouts (11), in the career-long outing that included 104 pitches … his season stats include a 3.4 K-to-walk ratio in 74.1 innings … has gone 5-0 in SEC play, with a 2.50 ERA while facing an assortment of top opponents.
Bulldogs closer who extended to his longest out of the season in opening of showdown series at Northeast Conference favorite and perennial power Monmouth … Bryant won that opener, 6-5 in 12 innings, and went on to split the 4-game series (maintaining its 1-gm lead on the Hawks, atop the league standings) … limited Monmouth to a lone hit and one walk over the final four tense innings … has not allowed a run in his past five appearances, spanning eight innings (no earned runs allowed in past 15.1, in 10 outings) … turned in a dominating inning a week early vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, striking out the side on 10 pitches … has fashioned a 1.67 season ERA, with seven saves and a pair of wins … his clutch, extended relief performance was all the more noteworthy for a Bryant team that has only one thing to play for: the Northeast Conf. regular-season title … the Bulldogs are completing their 4th and final year of transitioning to Division I and won’t be eligible for any postseason play (conference or NCAAs) until 2013.
Brought home runs in each of his plate appearances during stunning 10-run rally in top of the 9th, helping Boilermakers salvage final game (15-11) in crucial lateseason non-conference series at cb360 #9 UCLA … had a strong all-around series for #8 Purdue team that remained in the hunt for a top-8 national seed and NCAA Regional hosting honors … hit safely and scored in all three games of UCLA series (1-5, 2-3, 15-11) that saw the Bruins finish with a 1-run scoring margin over the three games (19-18) … batted 6-for-10 and reached base nine times during the pivotal series (2BB-HBP), while registering another clean weekend with defensively (played error-free on 11 fielding chances at short) … broke up CB360 Primetime Pitcher of the Week Adam Plutko’s perfect game with a 1-out single in 6th inning of series opener, later reaching on a 9th-inning hit-by-pitch, stealing second and moving on to third (Plutko allowed only one other baserunner in his dominating 8.1 innings) … his three hits in gm-2 (part of a Sat. doubleheader) included a solo home run … reached base four times in Sunday’s thrilling finale (2-for-4, 2BB-2RBI-R-2B), including 1-out, bases-loaded walk to push across first run in 10-run top of the 9th … returned to the plate again in that inning and stroked an RBI double to cap the big inning (which also included 7 singles , 4 walks and a sac-fly) … bookended Purdue scoring streak that four straight 2-out/2-strike RBI singles from his teammates … one of seven Purdue starters batting above .300 for the season (.314), with 26 RBI, 28 runs scored and 10 more “free-passes” (16 BB plus 5 HBP, minus only 11 strikeouts).
Emerging rookie who hit 7-for-12 (.583) during pivotal week, as Frogs rallied to beat cb360 #45 Oklahoma (4-3) before winning series vs.s Mountain West rival New Mexico (5-3, 5-6, 2-1) – leaving TCU and UNM tied atop the conference standings (they ended up splitting six MWC games this season) … the week’s results helped bolster TCU’s quest to be an NCAA Regional #2 seed (current #33 RPI, per WarrenNolan.com) … came off the bench to provide a pair of clutch late-game hits vs. the Sooners, the first coming on leadoff single in the 8th (he came around to score, cutting OU’s lead to 3-2) … returned to the plate with two outs and a tie game in the 9th, promptly ending the game on a single to left that scored Brance Rivera (halting TCU’s 8-game losing streak vs. Oklahoma) … played at shortstop in 9th inning of that game and then was inserted into starting lineup, at second base, for pivotal series vs. UNM … his 5-for-10 weekend vs. the Lobos included 2-for-3 with an RBI (on sac-fly) in tight opener that was suspended on Friday and completed on Sat. … went on to collect pair of hits and helped turn three double plays, in another closely-contested battle during gm-2 … had one of TCU’s two hits in series finale, as Frogs found a way to win the series-deciding third game … played error-free during the week on 18 fielding chances, including nine in gm-2 alone and seven more in the pressure-packed final game.
Had strong all-around week, as Ducks won pair of key midweek games at cb360 #37 Gonzaga (3-2, 8-7) before claiming Pac-12 showdown series at #13 Arizona (6-1, 6-12, 3-1) … hit .353 (6-for-17) during the pressure-packed week while providing six timely RBI (two game-winning hits), five of them coming with 2-outs … reached nine times spanning the five games (3 BB) while scoring twice, plus a pair of doubles and a stolen base … key member of Oregon defense that turned seven double plays during the week … played huge role in series-opening win at Arizona, in matchup between the league’s top teams … hit 3-for-4 and drove in half of his team’s runs (from the leadoff spot) in that 6-1 opening win (opened scoring in 2nd with 2-out/2-run single ro right, adding another 2-out 1B in the 6th) … added two more RBI in the gm-2 loss, then reached base twice (1B-BB) and chipped in with key defense (3 double players) during series finale … helped turn series-ending double play, with Arizona threatening to steal gm-3 in bottom of the 9th …earlier in the week, executed clutch squeeze bunt to bring home the go-ahead and eventual winning run in the 7th (3-2, rallied from 2-0 deficit) … added a double and two runs scored in Oregon’s second 1-run win over the Bulldogs.
Put his team in position for dramatic game-winning, 11th-inning home run that delivered the program’s first Ivy League title – thanks to his all-around effort in scoring 6th-inning run to tie that decisive game vs. Dartmouth (3-1 final) … executed bunt-single down third-base line to reach leading off the bottom of the 6th, then stole second on 1-0 pitch, moved up again on a deep flyout, then used his speed and baserunning skills to score on untraditional sacrifice fly (towering popup to shallow center, normally not deep enough to score the runner, but CF was playing deep and 2B had to make the packpedaling catch) … slid home safely, to the inside of the plate, while avoiding attempted tag by catcher Chris O’Dowd … had two hits in that third game of the Ivy League Championship Series, after also posting pair of key hits in 11-3 opening win … scored five times during that gm-1 victory (2-for-2, 3 BB, HR, 2B) … doubled and scored in the 1st inning of series opener, later hitting solo home run in the 6th … played error-free at second base (spanning 15 fielding chances), as part of team that turned three double plays, with several key defensive plays during the series.
Delivered several key hits during home series vs. #29 Texas, as Tigers twice upset the Longhorns (4-6, 5-4, 7-6 in 11) … has filled in nicely at first base over past nine games, as injury replacement … hit 4-for-11 in the tightly-contested series (2RBI-R-3B-2B-SAC)… delivered pivotal 2-run double in gm-2 win, forging 2-2 score in that eventual 5-4 victory … had a pair of hits in gm-3, also executing a sac.bunt (reached on error) as part of 4-run bottom of the 4th … ended weekend riding a 9-game hitting streak … prospective medical-school student who graduated over the weekend, as a pre-med major in biology.
Turned in dominating performance to open much-anticipated home series vs. cb360 #8 Purdue, as #9 Bruins took gm-1 and went on to nearly sweep the series (UCLA won second game 3-2 and had 10-5 lead w/ 2 outs in 9th inning of finale) … carried a perfect game into the 6th and ultimately allowed only three baserunners, with the one run allowed while facing only three over the minimum (28) in 8.1 innings … allowed only a pair of hits (both singles) and no walks, with one hit-batter … struck out five different Purdue batters (7 total Ks) while limiting the first seven batters in the lineup to a 1-for-24 combined line … fellow Primetime Performer honoree David Miller (1-2, HBP), the Boilermakers 8-hole hitter, was the only Purdue player that reached twice vs. him … the big-game effort marked the second time he has pitched into the 9th this season … carries a 3.38 season ERA and 6-3 record.
Played lead role in winning series at Atlantic Sun preseason favorite Stetson (8-4, 3-6, 11-6), allowing Spartans to maintain first place in the conference (in its first full season of D-I postseason eligibility) … hit 6-for-14 (.419) in the biggest series of the year, including a pair of hits and what proved to be the game-winning run in the opener … rose to the big-game challenge in series-deciding third game, batting 3-for-5 with another run scored from the bottom part of the lineup.
Continued to go about his business, in historic quest to hit .500 for the season – a rarity even during college baseball seasons over the years that have featured higher-performing bats … his season batting avg. (now squarely at .500) is all the more noteworthy considering that is has been maintained during past weeks vs. the grueling SEC schedule …hit .500 (7-for-14; RBI-5R) and reached 12 times (3BB-2HBP) during week that included midweek rivalry win over surging Tulane (9-5) and SEC series at #21 Mississippi (4-3 in 13, 4-7, 12-3) … went 2-for-3 (BB) and scored twice in win over Tulane … drew 1-out, 13th-inning walk and scored eventual winning run in opening game of Ole Miss series (came around to score after singles by Tyler Moore and Grant Dozar) …hit 2-for-5 in that opener, with a 2-out RBI single in the 3rd … reached base twice in gm-2 of series (1-for-3, HBP, R) and then closed week by batting 2-for-3, reaching base four times (BB-HBP) and scoring twice in series-deciding win for cb360 #4 LSU team looking to lock down a top-8 national seed … trying to become 16th Division I player (min. 75 ABs) to hit .500 or better in a full college season (most recent to do so was over 20 years ago, as Ron Dziezgowski hit an even .500 for Duquesne, which recently dropped its baseball program) … former Alabama great Dave Magadan is the only other SEC player ever to hit above .500 (.525, in 1983) … others of note have included Seton Hall alum Marteese Robinson (.529, in 1987) – who played alongside fellow SHU greats Craig Biggio, Mo Vaughn and John Valentin) … aside from Magadan, there have been no other players to hit .500-plus for a team that was competing at that time as a member of the SEC, ACC, Big 12 or Pac 12 (Virginia Tech’s John Van Arnhem hit .516 in 1971, well before the Hokies joined the ACC).
Key performer during sweep of visiting cb360 #24 New Mexico State (5-2, 14-2, 1-0), as Hawaii surged atop the Lobos in the WAC standings … provided big boost from bottom third of the lineup, batting 6-for-11 (.545) in the series (2RBI-3R) … opened series by hitting 3-for-4 in the Thursday game,then had a hand in four of his team’s runs (2-for-4, 2RBI-2R) during gm-2 blowout … scored game’s lone run in series finale, after reaching on 1-out single in 5th and showing his hustle to score all the way from first on 9-hole hitter Garrett Champion’s 2-out double down the leftfield line … fourth on team in batting (.286), with 23 RBI 10 doubles, two triples and a home run.
Action photos below (and above) courtesy of the respective schools: